Fiona Maddocks, reviewing for The Observer, observed that “Mozart is the wellspring, rather than the limit” in this festival, and went on to praise its artistic director, Amelia Freedman, as “a one-woman powerhouse of imaginative programming”. Audiences happily agreed, and there were many full houses.
A particular treat this year was the line-up of, arguably, the finest ensembles playing today. The critics certainly thought so: Hugh Canning in The Sunday Times praised the ”matchless Jerusalem Quartet” for their “immaculate playing”, and the Nash Ensemble, the Takács Quartet and Belcea Quartet all won plaudits, too. Chamber music doesn’t get much better than this, particularly when set against the backdrop of beautiful Bath.
The 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1 took place as the festival opened, and this was marked by a moving performance by Bath Camerata with readings by the actress Juliet Stevenson. And Angela Hewitt included Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, with its individual movements dedicated to the composer’s friends killed in combat, in her Remembrance Sunday recital.
Other highlights were the wonderful Hallé orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, with a programme ranging from Weber to Wagner via Beethoven. And the performance of Haydn’s Creation, given by David Bates’ La Nuova Musica, with the Holst Singers and a starry line-up of soloists. This proved to be an irresistible ending, with a packed Bath Abbey bringing another outstanding Mozartfest to a glorious close.
Bath Mozartfest Office, 7-9 North Parade Buildings, Bath BA1 1NS. Tel: 01225 429750. Bath Mozartfest registered charity number: 1040455. Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.
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